I think it is fairly safe to say that True Detective from HBO is one of the best cop dramas that has been released outside of The Wire. Why is that you ask? Easy, his name is Nic Pizzolatto. While previously his only television writing credits were two episodes of AMC’s, The Killing, it’s pretty obvious that Pizzolatto knows how to tell great stories. While this does not contain any explicit spoilers, it does contain some thoughts on the new episode.


Holy Cast and Plotting Batman!

Alright, this show has at least three actors in it that most people know right away, and since I don’t want to pressure you dear reader on whom they are you can figure it out for yourself. Like season one, Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson are the Executive Producers however they do not star in it and are not set to make any appearances. This means an entire new cast of characters like Detective Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell), Officer Ani Bezzerides (Rachel McAdams), State Highway Patrolman Paul Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch) and Frank Semyon (Vince Vaughn.) To put it bluntly in this episode there is a lot of shit happening and if you don’t have the ability to pause and rewind you may miss a bit. While it’s not clear how a cop with a missing City Commissioner, an officer with California Sheriff CID that has a sisters she’s trying to play savior to, a recently suspended patrolman and a corrupt business man that may run the mafia in the town of Vinci California are supposed to be tied together the last 2 minutes of the episode get that on point.

Next stop, Carcosa!

Of course Carcosa is a reference not only to an Amberose Bierce short story about a fictional city after you die but the linch pin of season one of True Detective. I cannot make this as clear as I am going to right now, DO NOT EXPECT what you saw last season for this opener. It is very clear to start that Pizzolatto is doing something different with this season. Is that good you ask? Well there may be a moment where a 12 year old bully watches his dad get the shit beat out of him by a man with some brass knuckles because of how much of a shit head the kid is. While this first episode felt completely disconnected from itself (four story lines heading in different directions only to have three tied up in the end) seemed to be a little much, it was great to see T. Bone Burnett play a different song behind a very similar backdrop for the opening credits.


Won’t somebody think of the children?!

I know what you may be thinking, “George, how can we be so sure we want to commit to this 9 episode series when the previous season was so perfect they should have just left it alone?” Well here is my answer to you, does this episode leave a lot to be desired? Yes. Is there too much happening and it feels like it’s a bit of an overcrowded 62 minutes of an episode? Yes. Could this season potentially be a mistake after how hugely popular last season was? No shit it could. What this does have going for it right off the bat is it takes three of the main characters and spends the majority looking at their individual characters. Similarly to how it looked at Rust and Marty last season, Pizzolatto knows how to tell great character stories based on hideous flaws (of which so far there are many and it’s going to be a field day watching everything unfold.) Now I did not watch this live least season, I smashed every episode in one day and in the past four weeks I have rewatched season one five times in preparation for this. Was I a bit disappointed? Yes.

But- what does all this mean?!

Watch the show. Here is what is lovely about this new season to start, new cast, new city and you don’t have to know anything about season one in order to enjoy it. In fact, I would say if you haven’t seen season one don’t bother until this season is over with because it may ruin it for you. There are so many high points in this first episode that you can almost look over the fact that it was quite a bit predictable. However I trust Pizzolatto to tell a great story and not screw over his fans, which no matter what happens I am positive he did not set out to do.

Overall Score
65 %

I set myself up for failure expecting too much based off of the first season.

Visuals 100%
Story 30%
Characters 50%
Predictability 75%

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